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In this little section of our webpage we examine, in detail, the things we hold true as a fellowship of believers in the God of Heaven. Our aim is to challenge you to sit for a few moments and consider your own ideas on some fundamental questions, and to provide a framework of Bible teaching to help you order your thoughts.
We already have a section in our main menu called What we believe, with short-form summaries of our beliefs, but here we'll provide more supporting detail.
Luke, in writing his gospel, began with: Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, [Luke 1:1], and it is in that spirit that we offer the thoughts you'll find here. We don't claim to be Luke, and certainly not to have the divine inspiration by which he was able to say...
It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order [Luke 1:3]
...but we read the Bible regularly, and with prayerful attention, and we do not find the confused and fanciful doctrines of the churches there. So, the things listed here are careful considerations of what the Bible actually says. God willing, you will find them helpful. They are offered That thou mightest know the certainty of those things... [Luke 1:4]
These are grim times in which we live. We may not know how long they will last, but of one thing we are assured: they will not last forever, and they will eventually be replaced with peace, safety and good health.
When God created the earth, He had a purpose with it. Three times that purpose is proclaimed in the Bible in slightly different terms, the third passage bringing together the features of the other two.
But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. (Numbers 14:21)
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14)
Do you realise how many modern pandemics have originated with animals?
About 3500 years ago guidance was given which, had it been followed closely, would have prevented these terrible outbreaks of disease.
The Law of Moses, given by God at Sinai, defined two distinct classes of animal – clean and unclean. The clean mammals were those which chewed the cud and had cloven hooves – cattle, sheep, goats, deer: all the rest were unclean, to be avoided completely as food, and treated with caution if domesticated as working beasts [like horses, asses and camels]. The preferred draught animals in peacetime were oxen. Only fish with scales and fins were clean. Only herbivorous birds were clean – such as doves. These food and contact restrictions, if followed closely, minimised the risk of sickness arising from animal-borne diseases. All recent pandemics have come into humans by way of animals that the Law classed as unclean, and which a faithful Israelite would have avoided completely. (Read Leviticus 11:1-23)
For the past two Thursdays at 8.00pm, people in our street have come to their front doors and shown their appreciation for those on the NHS frontline by prolonged clapping of hands, a laudable and touching demonstration of gratitude and admiration. For a variety of reasons, however, I have not joined them.
One reason is that I do not share the feeling of helplessness that began these demonstrations when they originated in Italy and Spain - the perplexity that Jesus spoke of...
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
The Bible is clear that God will end man’s dominion over the earth and set up His own kingdom that shall never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44). At the start of that process God, through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, will rescue Israel from an invasion and Jesus will at last being recognized as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10). We believe the invasion is close because we can see an alliance of nations forming today that is very much as described in the Bible.
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